Recipe by Carol, Chung Chi Wa
"This recipe is handed down from my mom's mom. This is NOT a dessert (not sweet), but more like a 'quick bread' for the Chinese. This 'cake' is usually made and eaten during the Chinese New Year or its slices are usually found all year round among the DIM-SUMs in the Chinese restaurants. You can chill it in the fridge, but it should always be eaten HOT after re-heating either in the microwave, or frying in a few tablespoons of oil. This cake can be kept for 1 week in the fridge (but usually it's finished within a day!!)"
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Chinese dried mushrooms, soaked overnight in water
dried shrimp, soaked in water overnight and drained
pork sausage, sliced
fresh ginger root
1 1/2 teaspoons
Chinese five-spice powder
chicken bouillon granules
ground white pepper
white rice flour
I really enjoyed this dish and have made it Thurday for the first time and again on Sat for a dinner party. I run a restaurant and made it Thursday for a dim sum new year's celebration. I took another reviewer's recomendation and reduced the pepper and 5 spice powder by half. I also reduced the sausage by about two thirds and the mushrooms to 8 dried. The concerns about the size of the turnips are not really relevant, although I did add some of the shrimp soaking liquid to make sure it was moist as my turnips didn't produce any liquid. I used brown rice flour the first time as my store was out of white and used white the second time with no significant differences in taste. One of my customers commented that it is the perfect vechicle for hot chili oil.
Even though the overall recipe was very rich in chinese mushrooms and the use of dried shrimps, I feel that this recipe failed to re-create the original version of turnip cake found in many restaurants. I feel that this particular recipe used too much white pepper powder and spice powder therefore making the cake too "spicy." Also, it would be helpful if the instructions included the actual amount of turnips used instead of just saying "3 turnips" because turnips vary in sizes which may make the recipe confusing.
I remember making these cakes when I was growing up. Our grandmother would let us help her grate the turnips using a grater. It was so much fun!
For the first time in my life, I tried to re-create my childhood favorite using this recipe, and it turned out to be great! My husband even helped me to grate the turnips. We think that when we have kids, we will have them join us for the yearly fun of making these savory gems for Chinese New Year.
The cake tastes like turnip cakes I've had in Chinese restaurants, but I think the mushrooms, shrimp, and sausage should be chopped very finely for a more even texture. But I will definitely try this again but won't wait until Chinese New Year! Update: I made these again with the same result--they are just too gummy. A Chinese friend thinks they need more turnip and mushroom and less flour. You need to use a real Chinese radish (lo bak), our generic turnips. The recipe is tasty but the texture is just too gummy and dense.
The best I've had in this country.
I'be never had anything like this before, so I had absolutely no idea how it would turn out. I made it with Chinese sausage I got at the Asian market, regular chestnut mushrooms (I hate the texture of rehydrated mushrooms) and fresh shrimp that I'd finely diced. It ended up being very dense and rich. The flavor was good, but we got tired of it quickly. Not quite sure what to do with (all) the leftovers...
I don't know where I went wrong with this one, but it wasn't to my tastes. Sorry.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Chinese New Year Turnip Cake
Serving Size: 1/6 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat: 269
The hard work's over, now celebrate the leftovers.
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